PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- (The Sports Network) – All eyes are on the choice for The Sports Network's Walter Payton Award for the outstanding player in the collegiate Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). The announcement will take place at the 27th Annual FCS Awards banquet being held at the Sheraton Society Hill Hotel in Philadelphia on Monday, December 16th.
The Sports Network, the nation's premier real-time sports wire service, established the Walter Payton Player of the Year Award in 1987, and it is presented annually to the most outstanding college football player at the FCS level. When the award was created, it was the only such honor to be presented to an individual player in then I-AA football.
The Eddie Robinson Award, named for the legendary mentor, was established to honor the division coach whose achievements for the past season have been voted upon as exemplary by the media and other coaches in the Division. In 1995, the Buck Buchanan Award was added for the outstanding defensive player in the Division and was followed by the 2011 introduction of the Jerry Rice Award for the top freshman.
Jarrett Payton, son of the late Walter Payton, who enjoyed his Hall of Fame career with the Chicago Bears, will present this year's Payton award. Georgia Buchanan, wife of the late Buck Buchanan, will do the honors for the 19th Buck Buchanan Award and Jerry Rice will present the third annual Rice award, with former Robinson-winner, Jim Tressel, presenting the 27th Eddie Robinson Award.
Voting, which is based upon regular season performance only, was conducted by over 100 media members and media relations professionals covering the Division. The top three finalists (in terms of votes received) for the Walter Payton Award are invited annually to attend the presentation, with the winner of the Payton not announced until this evening. The voting breakdown for the awards will be revealed with the announcement of the winner.
Walter Payton, who played his college ball for Jackson State, set the NCAA record for points scored in a career with 464, scoring 66 touchdowns, while rushing for 3,563 yards. Payton also kicked five field goals and 53 PATs. In his four-year career at JSU, he set nine school records.
However, Payton's collegiate accomplishments pale in comparison to the numbers he posted in his professional career. When he retired, Payton was the NFL's all-time leading rusher with 16,726 yards, and is still the Bears' all-time leading scorer with 750 points. Upon his retirement, Payton was the holder of eight NFL records and 28 Bears records. In 1977, at the age of 23, Payton became the youngest player to be voted NFL MVP and he added a second league MVP award following the 1985 season. During his 13-year NFL career, Payton was named to the Pro Bowl nine times and was also named a member of the NFL's prestigious 75th Anniversary Team.
Media Note - availability with presenters and 2013 award winners, will take place at 5:15 p.m.
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SOURCE The Sports Network